Life and career
Music was inherited, for the young Michael. His father, by vocation a master-glazier, was organist, church choir leader and musical pedagogue. The musical development of his only son was so important to the family that they left the small town in which they lived.
From 1902 Raucheisen lived in Munich, and from 1920 until the end of his pianistic activity in 1958, in Berlin. He studied at the Munich High School for Music. Around 1906 he played first violin at the Prinzregententheater and was organist in St. Michael. In 1912 he founded the musical Matinees which have become famous.
From the beginning of the 1920s until the end of the Second World War he was song accompanist for many singers, including Frida Leider, Erna Berger, Elisabeth Schwarzkopf, Karl Schmitt-Walter, Karl Erb, Heinrich Schlusnus and Helge Rosvaenge, to mention only a few of the most prominent figures. As an innovation he played his accompaniments with the piano lid open, in order to obtain a better tonal balance between the voice and the instrument. In 1933 he married the soprano Maria Ivogün, following her divorce from Erb. From 1933 he strove to create a complete catalogue of German language songs on gramophone recordings, for which, from 1940, he became head of the departmentment of Song and Chamber-music at the Berlin Rundfunk, for the organization of the studios there. After the War he was banned from his work for some years on account of his possible collaboration with the Nazi regime, and afterwards he appeared only occasionally in public. In 1958 after a very successful tour with Schwarzkopf, he returned to private life and moved with Ivogün to Switzerland. On the occasion of his 95th birthday he was granted the Free Citizenship of the town of Rain. He and his wife (who survived him by three years) are buried in the municipal cemetery of Rain.
- Booklet on the Collection Der Mann am Klavier (Hamburg: Membran International 2005) p.3.
- Michael Wersin: Rezension zur Raucheisen-Edition. In: Rondomagazin (3.12.2005) und Dieter Kranz: König der Liedbegleiter (King of the accompanists) - Michael Raucheisen (Rezension zur selben Edition). NDR-Kultur (25.11.2005).
- Harald Mann: Biografie Michael Raucheisen. In: Sieh auf: Beiträge zu Geschichte und Kultur der Stadt Rain und ihrer Umgebung. Nr. 7 (April 1984)